Helping Central Indiana’s Most Vulnerable Infants
Nurse-Family Partnership is partnering with SAVI to identify strategies for increasing program participation and improving its support services. The new SAVI Advanced tool allows NFP to map its current participants in relation to eligible mothers to identify underserved areas. By combing this with data about affordable housing, crime, and birth outcomes, NFP can further explore potential neighborhoods to focus its efforts.
Setting a child up for success begins before birth and continues into the critical postnatal period. But many of Marion County’s most at-risk mothers and infants do not have access to the support services that are important to a child’s successful development.
This is where the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) comes in. Developed after 30 years of research, this national program reduces rates of low-weight births, increases the number of full-term births, increases both breastfeeding rates and the length of time infants breastfeed, and reduces child abuse and neglect. This evidence-based, nurse-led community health program has only been in Indiana for three years, but in that time it has made a difference, making sure potentially at-risk mothers have access to the proper pre- and postnatal care.
The program currently serves 600 mothers. In the next three years, NFP would like to double the number of mothers it engages and expand beyond Marion County. NFP is partnering with SAVI to identify geographic areas of unmet need. By mapping the NFP client population and comparing it to the target population (first time mothers eligible for Medicaid), SAVI is helping NFP identify geographic areas to focus future recruitment efforts. NFP finds mothers through community organizations, doctor referrals, schools and faith-based communities.
“NFP’s goals and outcomes are data-driven, so the need for reliable, timely data is crucial,” says Lisa Crane, Director of Operations at NFP. In addition to helping NFP reach eligible mothers, SAVI is helping NFP to be even more strategic in achieving its desired outcomes for families and tailoring its support to each mother’s specific needs and location. SAVI provides a wealth of useful information about the communities in which enrolled mothers live, including environmental risks, such as high crime or lack of affordable housing, as well as availability of complementary community-based services, such as housing assistance.
The program enrolls mothers by their 28th week of pregnancy and engages them with nurse home visits up until their child’s second birthday. In the time they’ve been working with mothers in Marion County, 87 percent of the babies in the program were born full term, 88 percent were born at a healthy weight and 92 percent were fully immunized. While NFP nurse visits continue until a child’s second birthday, the program works with Goodwill Industries to provide other resources for families until the child enters kindergarten.
“We’re dedicated to continuous quality improvement to make sure we’re always meeting our outcomes and improving any of the measures that need to be improved,” Crane says. “We’re really confident that with the direction we’re headed and knowing the tools that SAVI offers, …we’re going to be able to say look, we’re making a difference.”